Why Regulate Utilities?: The New Institutional Economics and the Chicago Gas Industry, 1849-1924 (Hardback)Werner Troesken (author)
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Using the late-nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century Chicago gas industry as a case in point, Troesken argues that large and irrevocable investments pervaded the gas industry. These investments created an economic prison that bound consumers, local politicians, and producers. If producers did not like the regulations established by local politicians, they were stuck; similarly, if Chicagoans did not like gas rates and service, they could not solicit the services of other producers without incurring huge costs. A battle was bound to ensue: consumers demanded relief from exorbitant rates; politicians launched antitrust suits and passed rate ordinances; producers appealed to the state legislature and the courts for relief. Ultimately Illinois created a state commission to regulate Chicago gas companies, moving the battle out of the legislature and courts and relieving them of these costly, time-consuming battles.
Werner Troesken is Assistant Professor of History and Economics, University of Pittsburgh.
Publisher: The University of Michigan Press
Number of pages: 152
Weight: 430 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 18 mm
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